“Rail Baltica”: essential decisions should be taken jointly by Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia

3965_984fbf982dd2be187f8b2cec8ab3c22a

High-level transport ministries representatives of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have agreed for closer political level cooperation on “Rail Baltica” railway project in the meeting of 16 May in Riga.

This will facilitate an agreement on intergovernmental treaty, which should structure necessary commitments at the States level implementing “Rail Baltica” fast conventional European gauge railway in all three countries, as well as define basic conditions for completing this strategic project.

Representatives concluded that intergovernmental treaty has to take into account interests of all participating countries and ensure sustainable framework for coordination of actions between the countries.

R. Sinkevičius: I hope that construction works of Phase 2 of Rail Baltica will start soon

3923_3836a31069158f8ffcb43c3b08c250cd

Rimantas Sinkevičius, the Minister of Transport and Communication of Lithuanian considers the key event of the year for European transport – the TEN-T Days  to be another opportunity to discuss the details of further implementation of Phase 2 of the Rail Baltica Project with European politicians and experts.

“This is an excellent opportunity for presenting Rail Baltica. I believe that the project that has been recognised as a priority EU project will receive due attention. I also hope that our neighbours will also start the preparatory and construction works under the Rail Baltica Project which is financed by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)”, says Minister Rimantas Sinkevičius.

It should be noted that Phase 1 of the Rail Baltic Project that has already been completed by Lithuania is considered a success story by the European Commission (EC). A section on the North Sea – Baltic Corridor on the EC‘s website states that, despite recession and lack of funds, Lithuania undertook the construction of the 1435 mm gauge railway and completed the line between the Lithuanian-Polish border and Kaunas.

Lithuania and its partners – Latvia and Estonia have already agreed with the European Commission that, along with the works on the Rail Baltica line, the implementation of a European signalling and control system (ERTMS) in the section between the Lithuanian-Polish border and Kaunas will be funded. This is a very important agreement, showing the economic viability of Rail Baltica in the nearest future.

“We will do our best to achieve that the second phase of the project is successful as well. I am grateful to Ms Catherine Trautmann, the European Coordinator for the TEN-T North Sea – Baltic Corridor who is investing lots of energy to ensure that the project partners undertake the works of construction of the European gauge railway in their respective countries”, says Minister Rimantas Sinkevičius.

This year the TEN-T Days are held in Rotterdam on 20–22 June. The development of the Trans-European Network is the main subject of the event, with a focus on the issues of implementation and financing of the main network corridors.

Violeta Bulc, the European Commissioner for Transport, and Melanie Schultz van Haegen, the Minister of Infrastructure and Environment of the Netherlands, are inviting the EU Ministers of Transport, Members of the European Parliament, and other interested parties to take part in discussions held during the TEN-T Days.